25 October 2010

Children hunt butterflies in Cambodia

If it were not for collectors England would be full, so to speak, of rare birds and wonderful butterflies, strange flowers and a thousand interesting things. But happily the collector prevents all that, either killing with his own hands or, by buying extravagantly, procuring people of the lower classes to kill such eccentricities as appear.
- H.G. Wells, The Wonderful Visit (1895)
Modern sensibilities are, of course, that butterflies should be collected only as digital images. Economic realities are apparently a different matter in Cambodia.

Wells quote via The Project Gutenberg Project.

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